1996 Dave Awl
Night Diary #3
First, you staked me to a patch of sweet dark soil
and soaked my feet, left me alone as the wheel of stars
swung up above our heads, wiped your shoes and went back inside the house.
All night long I though of you and grew, leafy and long
and strange, while the insects fiddled and the stars whistled,
leafy and long and strange.  My arms stretched and twined toward
your window, making their way in spirals
and crosses to the place where you lay breathing deep and even.
But day came and froze me in my place with light
and frost, and you came out and saw my night's work, cut off my arms
without a word, pruned me back to a demure and simple shoot.
Night came back, I knit my brows and grew.
Leafy and long, silent and strange, and again I sent
my runners twining and questing toward your bed.  And this time
my vines encircled you, and you woke moments before the dawn:
in time to see the tips shrivel and shrink, the sweet red flowers wither
and close.  And you hacked and you cut and you pruned, still
in your nightclothes, all that long cold morning,
till I was once again a simple bare stalk.
And you didn't sleep another night in that bed.  I have surrounded
the house now, overgrown it and ivied and carpeted it,
it is mine now, my keep and quarter,
and my mighty vines have embraced that empty bed into ruins.
I guard the house now, with a patience I cannot express.
I wait for you to come back.